Football Recruits Weekly Update

With Stanford once again back at home after the previous week's thrilling road win over USC, the football staff hosted yet another group of official visitors. Meanwhile, action heated up across the country as many teams sprint down the stretch run in the hunt for playoff spots. Read on for the latest stats and notes on Stanford Football's recruits from this weekend's high school action.

As Stanford has with each home football game this season, the football staff hosted a group of official and unofficial visitors to The Farm. The official visit contingent featured tight end prospects Ryan Wallace and Quentin Williams and athlete Devonte Christopher. Wallace made the trip out to California during a bye week for his Bowling Green (Ky.) team while the other two snuck the trip into a weekend immediately after they led their respective teams to big wins. Wallace and Williams represent big-bodied, productive tight ends in a year in which Stanford would very much like to find reinforcements at that position given the move of last year's tight end recruit, Coby Fleener, to wide receiver. Christopher joins a handful of other prospects on the board as a standout high school quarterback that the staff envisions helping out in the defensive backfield or receiving corps. Stay tuned to for more coverage of the official visits for this trio of targets. Other than bye weeks for Ryan Wallace and linebacker recruit DeAndre Jones, the key targets for Stanford Football had a busy weekend. The weekend's action on high school gridirons across the nation: 

*  Newhall (Calif.) Hart improved to a perfect 6-0 with a thrilling 31-28 win over defending state champion Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon. The game featured a finish for the ages. After Hart threw an interception with 30 seconds left, the game seemed destined for overtime even after they snagged an interception of their own with only 13 seconds left in the game. On the next play, Stanford commit Delano Howell broke off a 58-yard run and stepped out of bounds in the nick of time with only 0.05 seconds left on the clock. That set up a game-winning 43 yard field goal by Pepperdine golf commit Johnny MacArthur, who is also a star soccer player and is in his first and only year of football. It was the first field goal he has ever made. The Stanford-bound Howell starred throughout the game with 209 yards, including the key 58-yard scamper, and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries. On special teams, he returned two kickoffs for 165 yards.

*  St. Xavier rolled to a 45-0 win to stay undefeated and at the top of the list of premier teams nationally. The win was their third shutout in the last four weeks and the sixth time in eight games this season that Stanford commit Fred Craig and the defense have given up a touchdown or less. In addition to spearheading the shutout, Craig got into the scoring action as well with a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown. The game came at a steep price for St. X, however, as their quarterback John Hurley tore his ACL and is out for the rest of the season.

*  Since their shocking upset loss in the season's opening week, Stanford commit David DeCastro's Bellevue (Wash.) team has rattled off six wins in a row, including this past weekend's 60-3 blowout victory. The team is hitting its stride even as 13 players who came into the season as starters are currently out with injuries.

*  Five different players scored touchdowns as Stanford offensive line commit Sam Schwartzstein and his mates opened up holes for Southlake (Tex.) Carroll in a 58-6 win that made the Dragons 5-1 on the season. Southlake Carroll burst out to a 28-0 lead on only nine plays and led 51-0 at halftime. The running game notched an impressive 316 yards, including 172 from Texas commit Tre Newton on just 13 carries.

*  Stanford quarterback commit Andrew Luck continues to have a rough season as his Houston (Tex.) Stratford offense was kept out of the end zone except for a 1-yard touchdown run that he snuck in. His defense added a touchdown on an interception return but Stratford fell 19-14. Luck finished 11-for-23 for 155 yards and an interception with no touchdown passes. The interception gave Luck his eighth already in six games this season.

*  In a matchup of Stanford prospects from struggling Long Beach programs, senior commit Marcus Turner's Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo team beat junior recruit Jemari Roberts' Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson team 28-22. Cabrillo is now 2-5 to Wilson's 1-6. Both teams face the powerful Long Beach Poly program next with Cabrillo enjoying a bye next week.

*  After losing two disappointing games in a row, Mission Viejo (Calif.) returned to the win column with a 34-14 win that made them 4-2. A week removed from struggling against the vaunted Concord (Calif.) De La Salle powerhouse, junior quarterback Allan Bridgford, senior Stanford commit Warren Reuland, and the rest of the Mission Viejo passing attack took a bit of a breather and ceded control of this game to an under-the-radar running game. Mission Viejo ended up rushing for 294 yards, including 162 from sophomore Jake Marshall, who had not carried the ball at all this season heading into the game. Bridgford did add a touchdown pass in the winning effort.

*  As Stanford commit Chris Owusu continued to recover from a knee injury, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian won 42-14 behind strong efforts by their star underclassmen running backs. Sophomore Malcolm Jones finished with 155 yards rushing while junior Ryan Landseadel had 118 yards rushing.

Matt Zubyk's San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker fell to 4-2 with a 36-15 loss.

*  After winning their first three games, Pawling (N.Y.) Trinity-Pawling lost for the first time this season, dropping 34-7.

*  Before making his official visit to Stanford to see the TCU game, Devonte Christopher led Las Vegas (Nev.) Canyon Springs to 6-1 with a victory in a 58-37 shootout. Christopher did damage on the ground and in the air as he darted for a 63-yard touchdown run and added two more touchdown passes. His final passing stats saw him complete 9 of 12 passes for 186 yards, those two touchdowns, and an interception. On the running touchdown he flashed the athleticism that has colleges recruiting him as a receiver or defensive back despite his stated preference to play quarterback.

*  Quentin Williams, who joined Christopher and Ryan Wallace for the visit weekend to Stanford, helped Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic become a perfect 7-0 with a dominant 56-0 win. Williams starred on both sides of the ball, hauling in a 59-yard catch on offense and returning an interception 29 yards for a touchdown. In addition to the interception return, Williams made 6 tackles and had a sack. Based on performances like these and a large frame at this stage of his career, Williams looks to fill potential needs at either tight end or defensive end.

*  Marietta (Ga.) Walton stayed red-hot with their fifth win in a row following a close loss in the season's opening week. The 28-10 win featured typically good play by the Walton defense led by Chase Thomas, which only gave up 151 yards of total offense. Thomas finished with 4 tackles and a sack. In six games this season, Thomas has 40 tackles and 10 sacks.

*  Lemont (Ill.) fell to 6-2 with a 14-7 loss in a game to decide their conference title. As a run-oriented quarterback Brett Nagel rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries. He contributed Lemont's only score with a 33-yard touchdown run but had a few rough moments as a fumble set up one of the opponent's scores and he was also stopped on a crucial 4th-and-1 run in the final quarter. As a safety, Nagel added an interception in the losing effort.

*  Chandler (Ariz.) Basha lost for only the second time this season in a tightly-contested 30-22 contest against another Arizona contender. A week after romping for three touchdown runs, Quinn Evans was kept out of the end zone on offense and was largely limited to run support on defense as Basha's opponent ran almost exclusively.

*  The top team in Arizona, however, is Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton and they continued to show why this past weekend with a 42-0 blowout. They are now 8-0 on the season with two games to go until the post-season. Covaughn Deboskie contributed a 6-yard touchdown run in a game in which production was spread around to a number of playmakers for Hamilton.

*  Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista, a week before facing off against Evans' Basha team, avoided the letdown and won big in a 44-0 laugher. In a rarity for Desert Vista, neither Luke Matthews nor Devon Kennard got into the scoring action. Both are in the midst of active recruitments, with Matthews visiting Utah this past weekend and Kennard recently receiving junior year offers from LSU and Florida to go with the half dozen he has already racked up.

*  Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei stayed on track for a probable spot in the California state championship bowl game with a dominant 56-0 win. Junior quarterback Matt Barkley, one of the top recruits in the nation for the class of 2009, has led a passing attack for Mater Dei that has seemed unstoppable all season.

*  Sandy (Utah) Alta continued to roll despite lingering health problems for star running back Sausan Shakerin, who has been recovering from an MCL tear in his left knee that he suffered right after coming back from a separate injury to his right knee. This past weekend's 55-7 win made Alta 8-1 on the season heading into their final regular season game.

Austin Holt's South Jordan (Utah) Bingham team, responsible for three of the four Alta losses in the past two years, also improved to 8-1 with a win this past weekend. Austin Holt did not get into the offensive action but has been Bingham's leading receiver this season. On the season, Holt has averaged 18 yards per reception and blocked for a running game that averages 250 yards per game.

*  Aldine (Tex.) Nimitz, arguably the Houston area's top teams at 6-0, gave Michael Thomas a breather in a game against a winless opponent. Sophomore running back Marion Brice ran for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 carries in a 32-21 win.

*  Clinton (Mich.) won 48-14 to clinch a spot in the playoffs but would have traded the win in a heartbeat as the game saw the likely end of the high school career of local hero Spencer Krauss, who suffered an ACL injury in the third quarter.

Kenneth Page's Columbia (S.C.) A.C. Flora team fell to 3-5 with a 43-22 loss.

*  La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day won 54-0 in a game that gave kicker Travis Golia plenty of work. Golia made 6 of his 7 extra point attempts and added field goals from 22 yards and 32 yards.

*  Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou lost for the second time this season but both losses have come against the same team – Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis, the top team in the state. St. Louis is formidable enough that Punahou started superstar junior linebacker Manti Te'o, typically a defensive-minded player, at running back and split him out wide on passing plays as well. Nonetheless, Punahou had no answer for the St. Louis defense and was shut out in a 7-0 loss. Te'o's final line saw him carry the ball five times for 15 yards and catch 3 passes for 25 yards. As always, he paced Punahou's defense, which became the third team to hold St. Louis to a single score or less in the past three years.

*  After winning their first five games to start the season, Friendswood (Tex.) dropped their second game in a row with a 27-20 loss that was billed as the game of the week in the greater Houston area. In this game, Friendswood gave up 13 unanswered points to lose the game. As goes junior quarterback Jacob Karam so goes Friendswood since the first five wins came with stellar performances from Karam while he has thrown multiple interceptions in each of the two recent losses. In the latest game, Karam completed 19 of his 36 passing attempts for 236 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions.

*  Wheaton (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel improved to 6-1 with a 50-13 win. Junior athlete Jelani Jenkins contributed three rushing touchdowns for Good Counsel and ended up with 71 yards on 11 carries. Through the air, he caught 2 balls for 54 yards.

*  Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge & Latin improved to 5-1 with their 28-14 win, also on the strength of an athletic junior already on Stanford's radar. Joshua Adams dominated from his wide receiver position with 10 catches for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns and also added a successful two-point conversion. He added 6 tackles on defense.

*  San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch evened their record at 3-3 with their second win in a row. The 38-13 win was enabled by a strong rushing game and junior quarterback Tate Forcier had a quiet game, adding a 7-yard touchdown pass.

*  La Mesa (Calif.) Helix pitched their second shutout and second big win in a row with a 49-0 romp. Junior tight end Levine Toilolo only caught two passes but made them count as they were both touchdowns from 6 yards out. The game came a week after he received an offer from Cal to go with his early offers from Stanford, Florida, and Vanderbilt.

Johnny Simon and Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney, along with St. Xavier, an undefeated and nationally prominent team from Ohio with a highly-touted defense, improved to 8-0. The 21-17 team came against a fellow undefeated team and was their closest game of the season. Cardinal Mooney survived the scare with three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

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